Hi all - I've been reading these forums for the past few days and respect you all tremendously!
I'm a genetic counselor, and I just started a job in my dream location this past summer. I always have been interested in medicine, but I never really embraced the idea of becoming a doctor because of my uncle. As I was growing up, he and his family were never at family gatherings. He is a radiation oncologist and could probably have a money pool a la Scrooge McDuck, but I always was sad that he and his family were never around. I also felt like I didn't have the personality for medicine - I am very sensitive to death and dying (who isn't?), but I feel like I have a harder time than most in coping with this. Thus, while I always have felt like I intellectually could be a doctor (valedictorian, summa cum laude in Genetics, perfect GPA in grad school), I never felt like it would be a good lifestyle and personality fit.
Now that I'm working full time, I feel like something is missing. I don't feel challenged by work. Granted, I haven't been there very long, but I don't know that I can be a GC long term. I do love seeing patients! I really, really respect the impact that a good physician has on a patient. I also am so energized when I work with physicians or am even at tumor boards. I just feel so...stimulated. During grad school, I felt the same way. I love learning about medicine and physiology.
Now, I find myself wondering if medicine could be in my future. I am worried, however, by articles I read. With healthcare reform, I worry that the majority of doctors will burn out even faster. I already understand the nightmares of insurance and paperwork. I see polls where many physicians express wishes to get out. I also want a family before I turn 35 (as AMA really worries me. I'm 24 now).
So, after that long-winded post...MomMDs, is a career in medicine worth it? Are you happy as a physician?
This question comes up quite a bit, and typically people refer the OP to the search results. But, I'll jump in today, because what I (may have) posted 4 years ago (or even 6 months ago) may differ from what I'll post today
I am (still) happy as a physician. Mostly, I appreciate:
The ability to make a comfortable living.
And sometimes I feel like a "rock star" when I tell people I'm an ER doctor (I still think it's kinda cool).
I went straight through school (no breaks, no pauses), so before I could really *consider* my career choice...I was already a 3rd year medical student. By then, even if you're doubting your decision...you continue with medical school, and "make it work." No thinking...just finish!
This was a good thing for me. Because, honestly, I didn't know what I wanted to do at 20, or 24. So the predetermined path that one follows to become an American physician was "good for me" as I "learned about myself." At 24, I could have either been folding jeans at the Gap, waiting for a manager position to open up...or in medical school (with everyone cheering for me, and bragging on me).
If I had to GO BACK and do it again...I *might* have chosen something else. But what?! I have no idea. So...probably, I wouldn't have. Not really. What else is there?
But you. You KNOW what else there is. And you're happy doing it. So...if I were in your position...I honestly don't think I would go to medical school. Why? To work with patients? Not worth it. BECAUSE, there are other ways you can work with people for way less time/money/stress.
I'm rambling...but if you've read this far, and wanna ask more specific questions...I'm willing to answer.